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2000 kg sea cucumbers seized in Tamil Nadu

The Coast Guard and the Tamil Nadu Forest Department seized sea cucumbers suspected of being smuggled to Sri Lanka and valued at around Rs 8 crore on Sunday. Following a tip-off about being illegally smuggled marine species in the early morning, local Coast Guard teams stopped a boat leaving Indian territorial waters with the help of their (Coast Guard) teams in the Gulf of Mannar and Palk Bay. ‘The boarding team of ICGS H-183 recovered 200 gunny bags of sea cucumber weighing 2,000 kg. The boat was found anchored about 15 km off Vedalai South of Mandapam without its crew…the value of seized sea cucumbers is reported to be about eight crores INR (Rs 8 crore),’ the release said.

According to a senior forest official, a patrol discovered the boat in a suspicious manner near Pamban and informed the Coast Guard.

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‘Investigation revealed that the consignment was planned for transshipment across the International Maritime Boundary Line during dark hours. Sea cucumbers are in high demand in China and South-east Asia. However, India is treating the sea cucumber as a species listed in the Wildlife Protection Act, 1972,’ the release added.

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